Ohio governor lifts statewide curfew as COVID-19 numbers fall
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has lifted a statewide curfew that was implemented to limit the spread of coronavirus, after seven consecutive days of hospitalizations under 2,500.
DeWine introduced the curfew on Nov. 19, setting it from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Originally it was set to last for three weeks, however, as COVID-19 numbers remained high, the governor extended the curfew through January.
After seven consecutive days of hospitalizations under 3,500, the state on Jan. 28 eased the curfew to an 11 p.m. start.
Now that Ohio has seen a week of hospitalizations under 2,500, the governor has lifted the curfew statewide.
“This continues to be very good news,” DeWine said during a press briefing ahead of the move. “You can see the numbers are dropping.”
While the curfew was not as strict as the original “Stay at Home” order put in place in March 2020, it did limit Ohioans to going out only for essentials, such as going to grocery stores and pharmacies.
While the curfew was in place, Ohio restaurants were not permitted to have sit-down dining during restricted hours, only takeout. The curfew also banned liquor sales during the hours of the curfew.
The governor is lifting the curfew as COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to increase throughout the state. The state continues to enforce social distancing guidelines such as mandatory masks and limited capacity in stores.
“We don’t know, we might have to put a new curfew back on,” DeWine said. “We’ve got to continue to wear our masks, we’ve got to continue to keep the distancing.”
Hospitalization numbers for COVID-19 have continued to fall since the governor’s decision to lift the curfew.